When she plays the piano and I’m half listening
as I read in the newspaper the terrible history
of some person doing something,
I’ll look over at her, and she’s
turning a sheet, reading,
each finger effortlessly finding the next key,
and then moving on to the next, finding
her proper place, which is part memory,
part paying attention to a thing.
When she plays the piano,
I like to think she’s somehow included me,
but it’s the missed note that brings
her back to Earth, a wrong key
when she plays.
Copyright © 2017 Stephen Gibson. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.